Saturday, January 15, 2005

Another all-grain experiment

After several successful partial mashes, I thought I'd try and make an all-grain version of the "Special Reserve", but due to the constraints of my electric stove, I decided to make a concentrated wort and dilute it with a couple gallons of water. I ended up mashing 12 lbs of grain (the most I've used in my 5-gallon tun) and it seemed to be too much. Did I have a stuck mash? It sure seemed like it, as try as I might, I coudn't get my mash tun to drain. I use a 5-gallon rubbermaid cooler as a combination mash-lauter tun with a Kewler Kitz spigot and bulkhead. I used to use a large grain bag for my partial mashes, but I've since been putting a cleaned and sanitized lint trap (mesh screen) on the inside of the spigot. I'm not sure if it was the weight of the 12 lbs of grain that compacted around the screen, but that's what seemed to happen. How did I rescue this batch? Well, I basically used a large mug (cleaned and sanitized, of course) to scoop up the grain and place in to a mesh colander held over my brewpot. I also used a ladle to rinse the grain with the liquid (wort) collected in the pot. It was a lot of work. The whole experience has got me thinking about sticking with partial mashes.

It's now seven days later and the gravity seems to have dropped about 40 points. The "green" beer from the fermenter tastes thin and excessively bitter (probably due to the 40 IBUs) and hot. I'm guessing the "hotness" is from longer chains of alcohols/fusels. Hopefully, that nastiness will subside. There's virtually no hop aroma; I'm assuming it all got blown off. I guess I could dry hop but I don't know if it's worth the extra effort, as this batch seems to have some flaws. I think I might add some dry hops to my mini-keg, though. I'll be bottling mostly in plastic, with three English pints thrown in for good measure. Here's the recipe if anybody is interested in this mess.